Sometimes the best things take time. Think: the aging of a fine wine to enjoy on a breezy summer afternoon; your latest fix of This Week In Records after taking one off last week due to deadlines galore and a lack of chart-topping, show-stealing music, not to mention this one being slightly late owing to a collective end-of-term Edge hangover; or two very special debut albums from two very special bands, finally out this week. There’s plenty else to explore this morning – including List of 2018 pick Sigrid‘s most surprising song to date, and a triumphant return from The Fratellis – but the spotlight is very much on ’80s synth-inspired indie pop group Fickle Friends and their first album after five years, two EPs and 13 singles together. Before that though, we must take a look at another favourite from our List of 2018: carefree indie rockers The Magic Gang, who have been turning heads for a solid three years now, and who finally have a debut album to their name.
The Magic Gang – The Magic Gang
This one has been a long time coming, and yet it feels like it couldn’t have come any sooner. After releasing a steady stream of EPs and singles – as well as booking slots at Reading & Leeds, Common People, and supporting Wolf Alice and Circa Waves‘ tours – The Magic Gang have been steadily growing their fanbase over the past three years since debut since debut single ‘No Fun’ landed them an “Introducing…” here at The Edge. Three EPs and two singles later, and the gang find themselves on our List for 2018 with a UK headline tour coming up and their debut album finally out: The Magic Gang is an record that builds on those three years of touring experience, as well as one that looks to the future and wears its multitude of influences on its sleeve.
The best way I can describe The Magic Gang is like a long summer pressed to vinyl, with each song lapping at you like waves on the gang’s native Brighton’s beachfront. Each track is different – ‘Caroline’ is a real upstart of a summer banger, whereas ‘Take Care’ moves things forward in a slower, more mature direction, and ‘Slippin’ is a real anthem for the festival crowds – but each sounds distinctly Magic Gang. Jack Kaye and Kristian Smith’s carefree guitar riffs pervade (almost) each and every song, whilst Paeris Giles’ percussive pulse is never far from the action. Taking turns on the microphone, Kaye, Smith, and bassist Angus Taylor give the heartfelt lyrics plenty of weight and warmth. It’s a magical debut, and one that has me dearly hoping that album number two doesn’t take another three years to arrive.
Sigrid – ‘Raw’
Barely over 12 months on from bounding with bite into everyone’s minds with defiant call-to-arms ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe‘, things seem to be turning out rather well for Sigrid. Winning places on coveted tip lists from literally everyone – including here at The Edge and the top spot in the BBC’s Sound of 2018 – proved to be a pretty effective way of catapulting ‘Strangers’ from Good Pop Song to Good Pop Song In The Top 10 Of The UK Chart, and now she’s parading up and down the land doing it all (and more) live to packed-out crowds. Our review of Brighton’s opening leg will be hitting the site shortly, but it’s fair to say that suitably minimal new release ‘Raw’ is just the tip of a very competent iceberg of new music set to trickle out through the next few weeks and beyond.
Fickle Friends – You Are Someone Else
Hey there! It’s James here, here to hack This Week In Records for one week only. The special occasion? Fickle Friends have finally released their debut album! Four years, two EPs and twelve singles after the five Brighton gang started releasing music, You Are Someone Else is finally here for us to enjoy. Their sun-soaked bubblegum pop is blissful listening, and although we’ve heard over half of their debut in single-form already, there’s at least seven new tracks to lap up. Having been treated to a sneak peak, I can recommend ‘She’ and ‘Bite’ as two of the best songs of the album – and check back for more recommendations when our full review goes up later today!
George Ezra ft. First Aid Kit – ‘Saviour’
Ahead of his second album, Staying at Tamara’s, our favourite deep-voiced crooner has released ‘Saviour’, featuring Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit. A bit slower (and darker) than the traditional ‘Don’t Matter Now‘ sound we’re used to from George Ezra, the track certainly sees country-esque influences from the duo, who supply some silky harmonies alongside Ezra and some pretty funky guitar. ‘Saviour’ will likely be the last track before Staying At Tamara’s is released, and serves as a fitting taste of an album which seems to have no cohesive sound.
Also, make sure to check out George Ezra & Friends, the singer’s podcast which sees Ezra chat with lots of names from the music industry.
SOHN – ‘Hue/Nil’
Following up from last year’s Rennen, SOHN is back with two fresh new tracks that you need to listen to right now. Not only are they the perfect tracks to ease you into your Friday morning, but they’re also just pretty great. The Vienna-based and London-born singer songwriter is gearing up for a European tour which begins in Rotterdam at the end of next month and ‘Hue’ and ‘Nil’ will fit perfectly into his likely brilliant setlist.
Alexandra Burke – The Truth Is
Black Foxxes – Reiði
Pendulum – Reworks
The Fratellis – In Your Own Sweet Time
Various Artists – Love, Simon (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Biig Piig – ‘Flirt’
The Chainsmokers – ‘Everybody Hates Me’
Charlie Puth ft. Kehlani – ‘Done For Me’
Duke Dumont ft. Ebenezer – ‘Inhale’
Frank Turner – ‘Blackout’
Halsey ft. Big Sean and Stefflon Don – ‘Alone’
Kygo ft. Miguel – ‘Remind Me To Forget’
Leon Bridges – ‘Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand’
Leon Bridges – ‘Bad Bad News’
Matt Cardle – ‘Desire’
Sunflower Bean – ‘Human For’
Wilkinson ft. Sub Focus – ‘Take It Up’
Yungen ft. Jess Glnne – ‘Mind On It’
Yxng Bane – ‘Vroom’
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
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